1st - St George
Well-known for its commitment to sustainable building and 100% brownfield development, St George has a considerable reputation to live up to. No concerns here, however, as this west London firm has outdone itself with this year's entry, boasting a 111% increase in sales for 2002 as well as a raft of new mixed-use, mixed-tenure developments across the London area recently completed or under construction. The people at St George are particularly proud of their just-finished Charter Quay development in Kingston-upon-Thames, which includes 244 homes, a 1100-seat theatre (which the company claims is the first new UK theatre of the millennium) and 50,000 ft2 of space for retail, bars and restaurants set around a piazza – which created nearly 300 jobs. On top of it all, the firm won The Queen's Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development.
'It shone for a variety of reasons – they were great on environmental issues, had an excellent safety record and produced some fine buildings'
2nd - Berkeley Homes
Berkeley Homes may be known for hitting the headlines, but in the meantime, the firm is continually striving to bring 21st-century attitudes to housebuilding. In doing so, it has proven that sustainable approaches, cutting-edge design and supply chain partnering can reap considerable business benefits. The Surrey-based group builds more than 90% of its projects on brownfield land, and in 2002 boasted a year-on-year profit increase of 34.5%.
'Its work in London and the South-east impressed us with its diversity and the excellent use of prefabrication techniques'
3rd - Linden Holdings
This brownfield specialist doesn't rest on its laurels. Despite raking in a 125% increase in profit over the past three years, Linden Holdings has been sending staff out on missions across America to learn about new-wave US housebuilding techniques. The group has been testing out its own innovations at its latest development, The Village in Caterham-on-the-Hill, Surrey, which includes such luxuries as built-in cinema surround sound and underfloor heating.
'We very much liked its commitment to community planning and the design quality of its housing portfolio'
4th - McCarthy & Stone
There's no stopping some companies. Last year's winner in this category, McCarthy & Stone is a niche housebuilder committed to high-density, affordable developments on 100% brownfield sites – yet continues to increase sales and profit. The Bournemouth group's Assisted Living division ensures it remains the leader in the field of affordable housing and sheltered accommodation. A new scheme called Affordable Housing UK sold out within days of its release.
'Didn't score well on design, but their customers were very happy. And they now build all of their homes on brownfield sites'
Building Awards 2003
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Housebuilder of the Year